D'Arcy Short and Amir Hayat impress as Australia beat UAE in one-off T20

Denzil Pinto 22/10/2018
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D’Arcy Short scored his fourth T20 international half-century as his unbeaten 68 saw Australia claim a seven-wicket victory against the UAE on Monday.

Chasing 118 at the Abu Dhabi Cricket Ovals, Short hit 68 from 53 deliveries including eight fours as the Australians reached their target of 118 in the 16th over. Medium-pacer Amir Hayat was the pick of the bowlers for the hosts after finishing with 2-26.

Earlier, the UAE recovered from a poor start, going from 17-3 to post 117-6 with Shaiman Anwar top-scoring with 41. Pacers Billy Stanlake and Nathan Coulter-Nile were the standout bowlers with identical figures of 2-20 from their four overs apeice.

Here are the talking points from the first official T20 between both sides:

Stanlake and Coulter-Nile return

Stanlake and Coulter-Nile will be hoping their two-wicket hauls help them press their case for selection for next year’s World Cup. On a wicket that usually suits the spinners, the pacers were effective as they troubled the UAE batsmen from the very first ball.

The 23-year-old Stanlake has been playing non-stop cricket for the past four months and that helped him hit the right lines immediately. Since the start of the year, the Queensland native has been on fire with Monday’s efforts taking him to 18 wickets in 13 T20Is.

Coulter-Nile was back in national colours for the first time in almost a year following back injury. He found his rhythm in the domestic circuit, taking 10 wickets in five matches. More performances like these, beginning against Pakistan from Wednesday and it will be hard for selectors to ignore them.

Solid T20I debut for UAE’s Hayat

It’s not even been a full year since Amir Hayat made his UAE debut and he seems to be getting better every game. He was the standout bowler for the hosts with figures of 2-26, not bad for someone who was playing his first T20 International. Hayat, who took 24 wickets in 25 matches prior to the game, made a fine start by not allowing captain Aaron Finch to settle at the crease – having him caught for one – and took another big wicket when he removed T20 specialist Chris Lynn for 20. It might have come in a losing cause but Hayat won’t forget the day he dismissed two high-profile cricketers in the UAE capital in his first T20 International.

UAE put on a good show against Australia

UAE put on a good show against Australia

UAE need more fixtures against Test nations

While elite nations regularly tour the UAE either on a stop-over to the subcontinent or to face Pakistan, Dougie Brown’s side have not had many opportunities of testing themselves against top teams. West Indies and England are among two they have faced on home turf in the last three years but those were unofficial games. Monday’s game against Australians would have been the same had the ICC not granted the fixture international status. Although it was a one-sided affair, the experience the UAE players take from the match will be crucial as it’s not every day they get to rub shoulders with the world’s best. It is imperative that this isn’t a one-off.

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UAE's Mohammad Naveed helps secure maiden win for Kandahar Knights in APL T20

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UAE pacer Mohammad Naveed.

UAE fast bowler Mohammad Naveed continued his excellent form in the Afghanistan Premier League in Sharjah as he was among the wickets once again.

Naveed, playing for Kandahar Knights, picked up 2-10 from three overs as he helped his team defend a target of 137 against Nangarhar Leopards on Saturday.

He first got Kiwi opener Anton Devcich for a duck before dismissing middle order batsman Hashmatullah Shahidi for 23 to restrict the Leopards to 110 and secure a 26-run win.

It was the third match of the tournament for Naveed and he has picked up a wicket in all three games. He opened his campaign with 1-33 against Kabul Zwanan before picking up 2-34 against Paktia Panthers.

It was the maiden win of the tournament for Kandahar after four defeats.

His effort meant Afghan ace Mujeeb Ur Rahman’s 4-16 went in vain. The Leopards spinner had reduced Kandahar to 75-8 before a late charge by Karim Janat (40) added some respectability to the total.

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Captain Rohan Mustafa disappointed with former coach's comments about UAE team

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Not impressed: Rohan Mustafa

UAE captain Rohan Mustafa has hit back at former head coach Aaqib Javed, saying that it was unfair to talk negatively about the national team.

Last week, Javed called UAE’s loss to Hong Kong in last month’s Asia Cup Qualifier final – a result that denied them a place in the showpiece event – as ‘unacceptable’. The 46-year-old also added the failure ‘showed there is a problem which must be attended urgently’.

When Javed left in May 2016 to take up a role with PSL franchise Lahore Qalandars, the UAE initially struggled. But under Dougie Brown’s reign since April 2017, they have become a competitive force in Associate cricket as well as registering their first victory over a Test nation against Zimbabwe and retaining ODI status until 2022.

But Mustafa expressed his disappointment to read the words from the 1992 World Cup winner, who guided the UAE to the 2014 World Twenty20, 2015 World Cup and 2016 Asia Cup in his four-year tenure.

Aaqib Javed was critical of former team UAE

Aaqib Javed was critical of former team UAE

“To be honest, it was wrong comments to say from a former coach,” said the 30-year-old. “I am not against him in any way because he helped me a lot in my development and during tough times. It wasn’t just me but he helped a lot of the other players in the squad. He made us improve as players. When you’re representing a country and you are captain of the country, you have more responsibility than other players. I think it was disappointing to read those comment because our performances recently haven’t been that bad.

“Cricket is a sport where you win and lose games. Hong Kong played well against India (in the Asia Cup). Does that mean India are not a good side? It wasn’t a good comment from him but I mentioned on Twitter, that he built the team and we are now working hard to achieve more targets.”

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